(29 July 2015)
While lauding the efforts of the government to increase power production, a business leader has demanded equal attention to the infirm electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) network.
The fragile T&D network is hampering provision of available electricity, limiting distribution of energy generated by new and old power plants and can leave plans to import electricity from Iran and central Asia frustrated, said President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.
In a statement issued here today, he said that T&D network is mainstay of the power system but many former government had totally ignored this critical sector which has resulted in wastage of electricity worth Rs 180 billion per annum.
The government needs to lure local and foreign investors to invest heavily to strengthen and modernise T&D network which requires increased incentives.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that unannounced loadshedding is direct result of shortcomings in the T&D network for which masses and business community continue to pay the price.
He said that transmission policy of 1995 could not attract investors but the transmission line policy of 2014 has become better after amendment in 2015 which may prove fruitful.
Power production has been improved by 78 percent in the last 12 years while T&D network with over 14,000 km of lines has witnessed a growth of 49 percent only.
The government has allocated over Rs 45 billion to NTDC in the recent budget therefore it should immediately start upgrading infrastructure lest it compromise ability of coal, LNG, wind, solar and other power projects which will dishearten investors.
T&D network is a major bottleneck in properly linking power projects with national grid and distributing electricity among consumers which must be improved without delay.